Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

We are still a little behind on this blog but...we didn't want to miss posting a Happy Thanksgiving to all! 

We usually take down our Halloween decorations right after Halloween so we can give the turkeys their due before Christmas dominates the house. Their window of opportunity is always short. With everything going on in our lives the last few weeks, their time was even shorter. We didn't forget them though. We decorated the house this past weekend so they can, at least, be stars for a few days.

 The ceramic turkeys. Most are salt and pepper shakers but there is a sugar bowl, a planter, a spoon rest and a napkin holder amongst the shakers. All of them are made in Japan

We fill in the spaces on the wall with old die-cut decorations. Most are turkeys

The Indians must get their due too. They were also at the first Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving cake toppers sit in the candy dish

Some Thanksgiving Gurley candles atop the fake fireplace

Most of the honeycomb turkeys hang out together. Some tiki mugs get pilgrim hats

This giant honeycomb turkey hanging from the ceiling always gives us the stink eye!

 Rubber Thanksgiving ducks and plastic turkeys

The Peanuts gang was happy that we had a chance to stop by but, as much as we like popcorn, toast, jelly beans and pretzel sticks, we will save our appetite for turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and holiday pies at Monica's sister's house later on! 

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Small Diversion

This post is for the weekend of November 15th and 16th. We hope to be caught up soon!

Our weekend would be almost fully occupied preparing to say goodbye to Monica's mom. There were lots of last minute plans to be made and everyone in the family played a role. Gathering and selecting the pictures for Sunday's wake was one of our responsibilities and we spent a good portion of Friday and Saturday evening getting them together. We had additional errands to run on Saturday and we put aside our typical saling plans for the weekend. We did, however, find ourselves with a little bit of time and we made two quick stops as a small diversion from a very tough weekend. 

We stopped to fill up Monica's car with gas before journeying too far from home. We paid less than $3 a gallon. This is the lowest price in four years! 

There wasn't a single cloud in the sky. The blue presented a beautiful backdrop for the colorful autumn leaves that still remained on the trees

Our first stop was at a craft fair at a church near our house. It's an annual event and it provided two opportunities for us...their annual sale...

...and their "thrift shoppe"

As with most church sales in recent years, there was not a whole lot of things that interested us. Their thrift shop is really nice but, as is the norm, opportunities for great finds at the thrift shops are rare nowadays. We did find a few Christmas ornaments, one record and a bamboo bracelet for Monica.

Our second, and final, stop of the day was at a sale that was twenty minutes away. It was the second day of the sale and the pictures in the ad pointed towards an older home with some potential. That was our first reason for going. Our second was simply because we have become friendly with the tag sale company that was running this sale and simply wanted to say hello. It is a family run business by an incredibly nice family.

There were three rooms to explore. Much of what was originally up for grabs disappeared during the sale's first day but there was still lots to see. The person who owns this house was moving and taking almost nothing with her. She had a great collection of vintage ceramic juicers from the 1950's (mostly clowns) that were sold on the first day. A few odd ones (without their bottom pieces) remained behind. They were really cool to see but we were not looking to get any that were not complete. We already have a great one that we found at some point in the recent past.

Although we did not get any juicers, we did find a great pair of clown salt and pepper shakers (that match our juicer), a Peppy pepper shaker (missing its mate), a Napco Miss Cutie Pie egg cup (with fake egg) and one book.  The clown salt and pepper shakers and the Miss Cutie Pie egg cup are marked Japan. 

Our friends at the tag sale company also had a few gifts for us. Knowing our love of vintage Christmas things, they had vintage angel chimes (with the accompanying candles) and an old plastic Santa that they had found months back. They really are great people! 

Here are the things we brought home with us:

A record and a paperback Mad book from 1975

Napco Miss Cutie Pie egg cup, a Peppy pepper shaker, a pair of clown salt and pepper shakers (made in Japan) and a bamboo bracelet for Monica

Some Christmas things

Oh...there was one other thing we got. At the wake on Sunday evening, we were visited by a friend who we had only previously known through Facebook. He joined a Merry Kitschmas group that we started for vintage Christmas enthusiasts and he definitely fits the bill. He wanted to pay his respects and meet us in person. He did not come alone.

He brought us this beautiful vintage angel in honor of Monica's mom. It was a very kind and thoughtful gesture. It will, every Christmas, be placed in front of a picture of all of us last Christmas with Monica's mom. 

Monica's mom was laid to rest in a cemetery that she chose long ago. The cemetary allows you to place tchotchkes around the grave. She liked tchotchkes. We know where Monica got it. We have already put aside some things to bring her during the holidays. We know she'll like that. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

With A Heavy Heart

With a very heavy heart, we wanted to let our readers know that Monica's mom passed away on Thursday afternoon after a brief illness. She left this world, comfortably and in peace, to her new home in heaven. 

Monica's mom and dad on their wedding day, 1960

Monica's mom and dad, her two sisters and her brother. Monica is in the center

The family last Christmas

With the beautiful memories of her and with the strength and love of each other and Monica's family, we will get through this very tough time

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some Intriguing Choices

Saturday was, once again, upon us and we had compiled our list of potential stops. For the first time in a long time, there were many sales that showed strong potential. We wouldn't be able to make all of them because of the distance between them and because we have been pretty busy later which we will explain at the end of this post. We tried to maximize the number of stops we would visit based upon proximity to each other and based upon where we wanted to be when the saling was over for the day. This meant we would have to give up visiting "1950's to 1970's house" and "Packed - Vintage". There were no pictures to support those claims and the first of those sales was on its second day. We still had some intriguing choices and, with a plan in mind, off we went! 

The scenery was beautiful as we made our way to the sales. The leaves have changed a little later than usual this year but they are in full swing now and provide for a beautiful backdrop on a beautiful autumn day.

We had a pretty good idea of how to get to the first sale but had plenty of tips along the if anyone needed this tip!

The first sales was described as "Christmas decoration headquarters" and that always gets our attention. We didn't particularly like the balloon Christmas decorations on the lawn (Rob hates them. He regrets not taking up archery when he sees them) but we were hoping for something better inside

It wasn't a big house and there were only two floors to search but it did have a bar downstairs and we often find cool things behind the bar....but not this time. Most of the decorations inside the house were newer but we did find two Halloween Pez dispensers, an old plastic snowman and some bamboo handled utensils. It was a good first stop.

After getting some breakfast, we moved towards our second planned stop which was described as a "packed hoarder's house". There were lots of pictures to support that claim and lots and lots of boxes in the pictures. Although we did not see anything we particularly liked, it intrigued us! We pulled up around 11am and the line outside the door was still 25 people deep. We knew we would not have time for this sale today. We moved on.

Sale #3 did not have a description at all but it was run by a tag sale company that we like a lot. They don't have too many sales but we always seem to find things of interest at their sales and most of their sales are diggers. There was not a lot to search and it was a fairly quick stop. They explained to us that, at the last minute, the owners decided to pull back numerous boxes from the sale. Despite this, we still found an old monkey pod, some salt and pepper shakers and a few Christmas things. The stop was worthwhile.

Our final sale of the day just simply read "full contents". It was in the area of the previous sale and Monica just had a feeling about this one. She was right. The house was a movable log cabin (which was also up for sale but not the property). There were items inside and outside to search.

Although there was only one floor to search inside the house, it had several rooms. There was a cellar to access from the outside but there was nothing of interest there.

This is a much better view of the outside. We found a yellow Princess phone and a pineapple tray outside and another phone, some Christmas decorations and a clown flower pot inside. 

Here are some of the things we got:

A pair of old telephones

A large pineapple tray, a set of bamboo handled spreaders and a monkey pod. The first two items are marked Japan. The monkey pod is marked Hawaii and has holes to place toothpicks.

Two Halloween Pez dispensers, a pair of salt and pepper shakers (marked Japan) and an Easter decoration.

Some Christmas things. A plastic snowman, a knee hugger Santa, a dream pet mouse, a Santa head ceramic mug, a little snowman head, Christmas tree salt and pepper shakers, some plastic elves and a ceramic candy dish. Everything but the plastic snowman, the plastic elves and the little snowman head are marked Japan.

A clown flowerpot (marked Japan)

We have been very busy lately and have been trying to keep things light as possible but Monica's mom has been very ill and she was moved into hospice last Friday. We visit her every day. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We love her so very much. Together, and with the love and support of Monica's loving family, we will gather strength from each other. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween Weekend

Halloween fell on a Friday this year. That's always nice. It starts the weekend out in a fun way. Our decorations had been up since the beginning of the month so we were in the spirit for weeks. Although we choose and buy our Halloween pumpkin a few weeks before Halloween but never carve until a few days before. It cuts down on the risk of it starting to rot before the big day! Our carving night was October 30th this year.

We never plan the design in advance. We usually agree on a design just moments before we start to carve. This year was no exception. His inside was harvested for seeds which we salted and roasted Thursday night. His outside got this goofy face.

Our Jack O'Lantern even looked happy in the dark! 

When Halloween day arrived, we had already planned to start our saling adventures for the weekend early. We targeted one sale that began at 9:30am. In the pictures in the ad, we saw a couple of great old Halloween decorations and a few older Christmas items. That was enough to catch our attention! Rob got into work at 6am and left by 8:15am. Monica had the day off. We met near Rob's job and off went.

We arrived about 25 minutes before the sale and saw that we were not the first to arrive.

It didn't look any better as we got closer. They were handing out numbers and 31 people had lower numbers than we did. We were allowed to search the garage before waiting on line to get into the house and we found four records there. Then, we had to endure the line. Despite the fact that the house was small and that there was a limit on the number of people allowed in the house at one time, we were inside after only 45 minutes. 

The house was cordoned off into sections so that only a set number of people would be allowed into each section at a time. It was a pretty smart idea as it seemed to keep people moving. Just as we were about to be allowed into the first section, we saw the coveted Halloween items being purchased by an earlier arrival.  That was okay...we also saw the price they paid. We would never have paid anywhere near what they were charging.

We probably spent the most time in the first section which seemed to be a sunroom. It was filled with books, Christmas things and general "stuff". We only found a couple of older Christmas items (which we quickly scooped up) and a few books. By the time we were done searching, we were next in line to enter the remainder of the house. Our timing was perfect!  

These old Christmas things were sitting upon the mantel as we walked into the main room of the house. They were marked at a much higher price than we would have paid. We admired them but never touched them. During our search, we did find eight old glass bird ornaments, a popcorn Santa, a few other old Christmas items, some green stamp books and a few other things but most of it did not come home with us. After the items we chose were priced, we decided not to get most of them. We did bring home the records, some old Halloween cake toppers, one plastic Santa and a few books.

On the way home from the sale (and on the way home), we saw this Spicy's Chicken which was clearly not a Spicy's Chicken years ago. Look at that architecture! We thought we would find out that it had been an old fast food restaurant or an old diner at one time. Nope. It has been a farm stand, a meat store and a doughnut shop. It still looks mighty cool! 

We stopped for breakfast across the street from the cement Sphinx which is 100 years old and has moved a few times. It has been in its current location since 1974. 

We spent the remainder of the day stopping at thrift shops (six of them) and managed to find a sweater, an overcoat and a few shirts for Rob.

It was still Halloween and that meant trick or treating with Monica's nieces and nephews that evening (and chili at Monica's sister's house afterwards)

The kids were ready and dressed. A vampire, the Mad Hatter and a witch! 

Rob didn't dress up this year but he did choose an appropriate shirt and set of gloves for the night

The kids ran up to every house! 

Oscar the Grouch answered the door at one house. They got candy anyway (and wished a rotten Halloween)

Someone made and displayed this on their lawn. It is pretty great as was the whole night. It's always fun to hang out with the kids on Halloween! 

Saturday morning came and we were set to resume our saling adventures. The list consisted of six sales though we knew we would not make all of them. It was raining pretty steadily and travel would be slow. None of the sales looked amazing and we had to decide where to start. Two sales were in one direction; four were in another. The most promising was in that group of two and we decided to go there first and hope for the best!

We were greeted by a sign as we pulled up to sale #1. We knew we were in the right place. There was nothing in the ad that told us that we had to come here. There were no pictures of anything that we really wanted but the pictures showed us an old house. That usually means that there is potential.

The basement was cluttered and full. That makes us smile. We had some work to do. Monica was focused!

We are usually no more than ten feet apart in any room as we separately search the boxes. When we find something, we usually stop and show each other. Monica was digging through a box of books, She saw something we would both like!

The garage had lots of stuff to look through too. The Busy Box and lamp were very familiar to Monica. Her brother had both of these growing up.

Here is a better picture of the lamp. It did not come home with us. The Busy Box is gone from the picture. It DID come home with us. After a thorough two hour search through all of the rooms spread out across three floors, some books, records, Halloween blow mold pumpkins, some Christmas items and a few other things also came home with us.

After a stop for breakfast, we moved on to sale #2. It had a very long driveway.

We eventually had the house in our view which was good. It was still raining. Monica was rushing to get inside! This was another sale that didn't have anything that specifically drew us here but the house just said "old" to us. 

Just like the first house, there was a cluttered basement that took some time to search...and search we did. There was a little plastic baby on a table, smiling as if to welcome us! He did not come home with us but, after an hour inside this house, we did find several Christmas records, an old pineapple ice bucket, a great Las Vegas ash tray and a few other things.

By this point, it was early afternoon and the other cluster of sales was at least thirty minutes away under normal driving conditions. In the rain, it would take an hour. We decided to call it a day. There were just two stops but we had fun in those two houses and managed to find a few things we liked.

Here is what we found this weekend:

Some books and booklets

Some science books from the 1950's and 1960's

Some records

Christmas 12-inch, four 10-inch and one 7-inch.

Decks of cards, a Vegas Vic ash tray from the 1950's (marked Japan) and a couple of glass cocktail swizzle sticks

An old ceramic flowerpot, a "Busy Box" from the 1960's, some old New Year's Eve noisemakers and an old plastic Easter decoration

A pineapple ice bucket (dated 1965) and an old monkey pod (made in Hawaii)\

An old inflatable Halloween pumpkin, a vintage Halloween card, an "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" book (from 1977), "The Peanuts Book of Pumpkin Carols (from the 1970's) and several old pumpkin blow molds.

Some old Halloween cake toppers (all marked Japan) 

Two packages of Christmas stencils, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" book (from 1977) and some old cardboard bank giveaway Christmas decorations. 

A few more Christmas decorations

We spent a majority of Sunday running errands and doing the Sunday chores that we know need to be done but we did find time to go out to dinner Sunday night with Monica's sister and family. This is always a good time. 

The weekend flew by and the work week came. It is a necessary bridge to cross before getting to the next weekend. Rob found this message from Monica written in chalk on the walkway in front of our front door as he came home from work on Monday. Weekdays may not always measure up to the weekend but every day counts ...and every day brings a million new reasons to smile together.